come up trumps

British English

Meaning: If you come up trumps, you succeed in something that you may not have been expected to succeed in.

For example:

  • Nicole came up trumps, winning her match despite her injured knee.

  • John's dad was sure his son would came up trumps, and he did.

Note: The idiom "to turn up trumps" has the same meaning.

Origin: From card games in which a card of the suit that is designated "trumps" is of greater value than a card of another suit, so a player with many trumps in his hand has a good chance of winning.

Variety: This idiom is typically used in British English but may be used in other varieties of English too.

Quick Quiz:

After weeks of campaigning for votes, Salima came up trumps and

a. lost the election

b. won the election

c. quit the election

Idiom of the Day

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Contributor: Matt Errey